Rapid separation and identification of multiple constituents in traditional Chinese medicine formula Shenqi Fuzheng Injection by ultra-fast liquid chromatography combined with quadrupole-time-of-flight mass spectrometry.

Journal of pharmaceutical and biomedical analysis

PubMedID: 23245245

Liu MH, Tong X, Wang JX, Zou W, Cao H, Su WW. Rapid separation and identification of multiple constituents in traditional Chinese medicine formula Shenqi Fuzheng Injection by ultra-fast liquid chromatography combined with quadrupole-time-of-flight mass spectrometry. J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2013;74141-55.
Shenqi Fuzheng Injection (SFI) a well-known traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) formula, has been extensively used as an adjuvant to chemotherapy for cancer treatment in clinic. However, the chemical constituents in SFI, especially water-soluble ingredients, had not been investigated so far. In this study, an ultra-fast liquid chromatography (UFLC) coupled with electrospray ionization quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (ESI-Q-TOF-MS/MS) method was established for rapid separation and structural identification of the constituents in SFI. Separation was performed on a C18 reversed-phase column (2.1 mm × 100 mm, 1.8 µm) by gradient elution mode, using methanol-water containing 0.1% formic acid as mobile phase at the flow-rate of 0.2 mL/min. Accurate mass measurement for molecular ions and characteristic fragment ions could represent reliable identification criteria for these compounds. As a result, eighty-one major constituents including organic acids, amino acids, oligosaccharides, alkaloids, nucleosides, phenylpropanoids, polyacetylenes, flavonoids, isoflavonoids and saponins were identified or tentatively characterized by comparing their retention times and MS spectra with those of authentic standards or literature data. All compounds were further assigned in the individual raw material. In conclusion, the UFLC-Q-TOF-MS/MS is a highly efficient technique to separate and identify constituents in complex matrices of traditional Chinese medicines. These results obtained in this research will provide a basis for quality control and further study in vivo of SFI.